The Smartest Cities in America

With 40 million users from 180 countries, Lumosity is the leading online brain training program designed to improve core cognitive abilities such as memory, attention and fluid intelligence. Based on the science of neuroplasticity and personalized for each user, Lumosity training enables users to remember more, think faster, and perform better at work, school, and in everyday life.

This year Lumosity analyzed user data to determine the smartest cities in America. The study involved 3,385,648 people between the ages of 15-85 who had participated in all 5 cognitive training exercises: Speed, Memory, Attention, Flexibility, Problem Solving. The results are grouped into Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSA), which are urban centers combined with adjacent areas that are socioeconomically tied to them through commuting.


Smart Cities and the Internet of Everything

Smart Cities are a dynamic 21st century approach to transforming, improving and revitalizing municipalities.

The vision of Smart Cities is quickly becoming a reality as urban centers around the world look to create communities that become the places where people want to live, learn and play and where businesses seek to invest. Smart Cities like Songdo, Barcelona and Lake Nona, described in this paper, use information technology, network communications including the Internet, and sensors to automate routine processes plus provide rapid and intelligent decision-­‐making for creating dramatic efficiencies and cost savings in existing functions and processes. Smart Cities connect governments much more closely to people. They provide the support infrastructure to deliver new services, and address a wide range of urban challenges – from environmental sustainability to job creation and economic growth.


2013 National Meeting

CEOs for Cities’ 2013 National Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan gathered over 320 cross-sector civic CEOs and changemakers from over 80 cities to explore the theme, “The Art of the Collaborative City.”  It was the largest National Meeting in CEOs for Cities history, exceeding the record attendance of over 250 in Boston in 2012.

This year’s conference explored the intersection of the private, public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors and the intersection of art, design, talent, and place to catalyze city success. We used ArtPrize, the internationally acclaimed art competition that Time Magazine listed in its "Five Festive Events You Won't Want to Miss in 2013," as our canvas, to help our business, community, foundation, and government leaders explore the smart practices that are helping American cities grow in investments, talent, and quality of life.


Talent Dividend Webinar Series

CEOs for Cities is pleased to announce a three-part fall webinar series designed specifically to meet the needs of cities participating in the  Talent Dividend Networkand Talent Dividend Prize Competition.   This event, spread over the next three months and with generous in-kind support from the presenters will explore how geospatial mapping may be used to better inform metro strategy around college completion using  Columbia, SC, McAllen, TX, and Lakeland, FL as examples, strategies around adult college completion, and a comprehensive review of the 2nd year benchmark reports from Joe Cortright. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to stay engaged with the TD Network!


Meeting Interview: Jay Byers - CEO, Greater Des Moines Partnership

At our National Meeting next month, Jay Byers - CEO for the Greater Des Moines Partnership - will participate in the City Success Stories Lightening Round. He will share how the Partnership serves more than 4,700 businesses and 20 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce in Central Iowa. He recently took some time to answer a few questions that will help us get to know him before next month's meeting.

Tell us a little bit about your work.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization serving Central Iowa.  Together with 20 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and 4,700 business members which employ a workforce of more than 150,000,the Partnership works to grow opportunity, create jobs, and promote the best place to build a business, a career and a future.

How has intentional collaboration with cross-sector leaders aided your work?

Capital Crossroads, our current ongoing regional vision plan, has engaged a diverse group of 50 individuals from across Central Iowa to serve on the Steering Committee.  The Committee invited public input on ways to improve the Central Iowa region, covering a 50-mile radius from the State Capitol.  More than 5,000 local voices contributed to…


Community Spirit Matters

Community spirit matters. It brings us together to accomplish big goals and overcome serious challenges. What is amazing is that community spirit is often grounded in the smallest actions. Actions like talking with neighbors, eating with family and friends, exchanging favors, and other random acts of kindness. These acts create the social connections necessary to solving big problems and maintaining a healthy democracy. 

The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is an organization dedicated to growing America’s community spirit. For 69 years, NCoC’s Annual Conference has been a must attend event for community builders searching for new ways to engage their neighbors and create positive change. Given the current social and political polarization, the need for this Conference couldn’t be greater.

Leaders from the nonprofit, private, open data, and technology sectors will converge at the Conference to share best practices and uncover innovate civic engagement strategies. There will be high-quality Learning Summits, panels, and networking receptions – all chances to bolster our own community spirit and take on the issues facing our field.

We hope to see you on Sept. 19-20 at the 2013 National Conference on Citizenship.


Engagement Through Arts

Ideas, connections and innovation are the ultimate resources in today’s world. Figuring out how we can facilitate these very things to bolster the cultural and creative capital of a city is critical.


The Transformation of Space into Place

Photo from The Atlantic Cities

The transformation of spaces into creative and vibrant places is a current trend in the 21st century. The Internet is full of success stories detailing how cities, in their quest to find distinctiveness, have rediscovered assets of built and physical environments. With these strong and conscious efforts, significant improvements to the livability of whole communities follow. Common to these success stories is placemaking.

In the process of making place it becomes increasingly important to understand how people fit into civic design. And to understand how, it is important to realize the tendency for a built environment to turn its back on people. In order to transform space into place, the connection between people and their built environments must be re-established.


Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities: Preparing for an Urbanized World

Photo from The International Society for Presence Research

Corporations are finding themselves in an increasingly globalized and urbanized world. As the world's population continues to migrate to urban centers, these corporations realize they have to adjust to meet this shift. Cisco created its “Smart+Connected Communities” initiative to address the challenges associated with the global urban shift. These challenges include overcrowding, pollution, budget and resource constraints, inadequate infrastructures, and the need for continuing growth.

Anil Menon became the president of Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) in March 2009. Since then, he has consistently worked to bring together people, services, community assets, and information using intelligent networking capabilities. By bringing community leaders together, it is easier to address the challenges and create a more sustainable environment. Anil leads a cross-Cisco team focused on services-led solutions in safety and security, energy, real estate, and transportation.


Anchoring Success in the Urban Core

Photo from flickr user JohnE777

City leaders and developers have started to pay greater attention to the types of institutions that wield significant influence as employers, purchasers of goods and services, and sources of creativity and innovation.  Influential “anchor institutions” have the power to transform a region.  Anchor institutions differ from traditional institutions because they never move and are highly motivated to invest in place.  These anchors include some of the fastest growing organizations with major real estate holdings concentrated in the urban core: colleges and universities, hospitals, art centers, public utilities, and even professional sports franchises.  With the decline in investments from government and businesses alike, anchor institutions have become desirable sources for leadership and development in city cores.